There’s an old saying: “A lie travels halfway around the world before truth can get its pants on.” It helps describe both the anti-Canadian energy campaign and the need for rapid response.
The problem is that false or misleading narratives attacking the Canadian oilsands do more than hurt the economy; often they damage the environment.
For almost a decade, my volunteer-led organization has been advocating for credible information to be always at the ready, if only so that truth is suited up and good to go any moment it’s called upon. We speak out proactively or, if necessary, we react immediately.
Applying accessible, verifiable, objective data, we’ve consistently called out activists from David Suzuki, Tzeporah Berman and Bill Nye to Leo DiCaprio, Neil Young and Jane Fonda – and many more. The thousands in our network of energy employees, contractors, suppliers and their indigenous and non-indigenous families across Canada are worth that effort.
While many activists claim to care about indigenous communities, reduction of CO2 emissions or landscape reclamation, industry supporters involved in the research, development and implementation of technology and innovation seem to care a lot more.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do these activists care that Canada is the only top-10 oil exporter on the planet with carbon-pricing initiatives that have been in place since 2007?
Can activist protesters reconcile the fact that, if the entire planet adapted world-leading Canadian standards for oil and gas production, emissions per barrel of global production would drop by 23 per cent?
Is it fair that, while activists claim Canadian oil is “the dirtiest in the world,” credible peer-reviewed studies on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border point to several international suppliers selling oil with significantly higher CO2 emissions per barrel than ours?
The answer to these questions is “no.”
From collaborating among industry over the launch of a satellite for tracking CO2 emissions from space to leading the world in carbon capture and storage technology, the Canadian oil and gas sector deserves the support of those who claim to be fighting for the climate.
Yet environmental groups push for a prohibition on oilsands activities and fight against a pipeline that would allow our country to compete in the world, and instead force Canadians to use 700,000 barrels per day of imported product from countries with often a miserable record of environmental and human rights.
It’s time for environmental activists to join the growing chorus of indigenous and non-indigenous leaders and communities across Canada who say they support Canadian oil and gas, produced to the highest environmental standards on earth and providing the largest single contribution to Canada’s economy.
Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder/spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.